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Seven young graduates have joined Isuzu Motors South Africa’s (IMSAf) Graduate in Training (GIT) programme while six others will be participating in the company’s in-service training (IST) programme this year. 

The graduates and in-service trainees are spread across the organisation occupying roles in technical services, purchasing vehicle sales, marketing and after sales, engineering, manufacturing and maintenance. According to Wayne Osborne, IMSAf General Manager of Training and Organisational Development, the graduates will have opportunities to gain on the job experience. “They receive all the necessary training and are guided and mentored by professionals within the company,” said Osborne.

In his welcome speech to the new graduates and trainees, Michael Sacke, CEO and MD of IMSAf encouraged the youth to take advantage of learning their respective jobs. “You are all young and dynamic, all of you are future leaders, whilst gaining experience here, make the best of the exposure, enjoy the environment, bring your fresh views and most of all enjoy yourself,” said Sacke.

Over the years, the GIT and IST programme has had many success stories.  Mbongeni Mbiko, Environmental Engineer at IMSAf, started the programme in 2015. He joined the company as an IST whilst completing a National Diploma in Analytical Chemistry at the Nelson Mandela University. Today, this young man from Matatiele in the Eastern Cape, is a well-established team member in the Environment Management division at IMSAf, responsible for the company’s strategic waste management programmes.  “The programme gave me an opportunity to prove that I can do the job beyond my university qualification. I have been exposed to different levels within the organisation and I am confident that I have gained experience which will enhance my performance in future,” said Mbiko.

Catherine Campbell, IMSAf senior vice president Finance and IT, started her career 16 years ago as a GIT.  She said that the GIT programme has given her an opportunity to learn and to build a career in finance. “My advice to the youth is what you put in, is what you get out.  You need to take every opportunity that comes your way and learn from it.  Grab it with both hands and make sure you do not waste this wonderful opportunity.”

According to the latest statistics from StatsSA the youth aged between 15 and 24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labour market, this as the unemployment rate among this age group was at 55,2% in the first quarter of 2019. Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31%.